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Apple is Developing Isaac Asimov’s FOUNDATION for TV

Apple is Developing Isaac Asimov’s FOUNDATION for TV

For nearly eight decades, Isaac Asimov‘s Foundation novels have been impenetrable to film and television adaptations despite many valiant attempts. However, Foundation may finally make the leap to television, as Apple has placed it in development with an eye towards a direct-to-series order.

Deadline broke the story about the potential Foundation series, which is being produced by David S. Goyer and Josh Friedman in conjunction with Skydance television. The report states that Goyer and Friedman have been “cracking the code” to create a successful Foundation adaptation. It should be noted that this is a new incarnation of the project which is separate from HBO’s attempt to bring Foundation to life.

Why has Foundation been so difficult to adapt? In part because it’s a sprawling epic that takes place in several different time periods. Intergalactic empires rise and fall, which gives the stories their impressive scope. But it’s harder to find characters to latch on to when Asimov’s stories lurch forward in time and leave the past behind.

The original protagonist of Asmiov’s Foundation series was Hari Seldon, a man who developed a mathematical model to accurately predict the future of humanity on a universal scale. Seldon foresaw the fall of the Galactic Empire, and secretly formed two Foundations of humanity’s greatest geniuses to prevent a coming dark age from lasting more than 1,000 years. The prequel novels revisited Seldon in stories set before the Foundation was formed, but he may not be the right character to hang the TV series on.

Foundation and Empire, the second novel, may have the most dramatic potential for the adaptation. Within that book, the first Foundation comes into open conflict with the old Galactic Empire. The second story within the novel pit the Foundation against the Mule, a mutant planet conqueror whose actions could not be predicted by Seldon’s methods. Either of those eras could be expanded upon for television.

Asimov’s stories also have a reputation for being very male-centric. However, it seems likely that the Foundation TV series would reflect modern views on diversity culture. In other words, it’s not going to be the 1940s and ’50s vision of the future. There’s a vast playground in Foundation, and we think it will be more inclusive this time.

Are you excited about the possibilities of a Foundation TV series? Let’s discuss in the comment section below!

Images: Bantam Spectra

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